Harrisburg man will serve 17-35 years for sexually abusing two minors

DAUPHIN COUNTY — A Harrisburg man was sentenced a 17- to 35-year prison term for sexually abusing two minor children in 2014 and 2015, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

Jeffrey Beard, 28, was sentenced by Judge Deborah E. Curcillo, the DA said.

He was accused of engaging in oral intercourse with a 17-year-old mentally challenged minor he met at a local church. The incident came to light when the victim disclosed the abuse in 2016, prosecutors say. Beard claimed at the time that the encounter was consensual, police say.

During the investigation, police discovered Beard had also touched a 10-year-old child at a local swimming pool in 2015. The child said Beard touched his buttocks over his clothing while teaching him to swim, prosecutors say.

Beard initially denied having any intention contact, but eventually admitted to detectives that he had a sexual attraction to children.

Beard has a prior conviction to possession of child pornography in 2012, according to prosecutors.

“The Commonwealth credits the two children for coming forward in this case and the work of the Harrisburg City detectives to bring justice for the families,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle in a press release after Beard’s sentencing . “This sentence will ensure that the community is protected from the offender while the families involved can begin the healing process. ”

Beard will undergo an evaluation by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine if he will be classified as a sexually violent predator and be subject to community notification. He has been classified as a sexual offender and will have lifetime registration requirements with the Pennsylvania State Police.

Judge Curcillo also sentenced him to a consecutive term probation and indicated that he is to have no contact with any minor children during his entire period of parole and probation.

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